After 11 years as head football coach of the Tyler Lions, Ricklan Holmes said it was time to go in a different direction.

Holmes told the Tyler Morning Telegraph he resigned on Friday to pursue other options.

“I resigned today,” Holmes said. “It was time. I have several options on the collegiate level and 6A football in Texas. I hope to have everything settled next week.”

Holmes has spent 16 years on the coaching staff at John Tyler/Tyler High School, five as an assistant coach and 11 years as head coach.

Factor in as a player for the Lions, that’s 20 years.

Holmes has a record of 79 and 51 with a playoff record of 8-4.

He led the Lions to eight playoff appearances in 11 years as head coach with four district championships. Holmes also had the Lions in the state semifinals twice in 2012 and 2014 and the quarterfinals in 2016 and 2018.

His 11 years as head coach ties for the longest tenure at John Tyler/Tyler High. Both Allen Wilson (1991-2001) and Johnny “Red” Stidger (1958-68).

Holmes was all-state as a player at JT and played four years at Oklahoma State. He also saw time in the NFL with the New England Patriots and Cleveland Browns.

“I hope this does not becoming a revolving door (head coaching position) for the sake of the kids,” Holmes said. “I hope the right person comes in and is dedicated to the program and wants to be here.”

Tyler ISD released a statement, “ Tyler High School is seeking a new head football coach. Current head football coach and campus athletic coordinator Ricklan Holmes has announced he is resigning effective at the end of the contract year to pursue new opportunities.”

The search for a new head football coach for Tyler High School will begin immediately. The position will be posted soon on the Tyler ISD Human Resources website and relevant job boards as appropriate. A timeline for the recommendation of a new head coach will be determined by the administration.

“Tyler ISD Athletics would like to thank Coach Holmes for his hard work and dedication to Tyler High and the student-athletes for the last 11 years,” Athletic Director Greg Priest said. “He has played an important role in building the Tyler High Football program, and we wish him all the best in his future endeavors.”


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Sports Editor

I am a native Tylerite and I grew up reading the Tyler Morning Telegraph and The Tyler Courier-Times. My parents took both the morning and afternoon papers. I came to work here 35 years ago at the age of 23, right after college.